Kathryn Markel Fine Arts is pleased to present Liaisons, Nancy Cohen’s first solo show at the gallery.
Nancy Cohen is interested in the juxtaposition of fragility and strength, both in our personal lives and the environment. Her work investigates the journey of the individual navigating a perilous world, all while exploring the fragility of that world itself. Through personal study of waterways and collaborations with scientists and environmentalists, Cohen imbues her work with academic references to a natural world that is fighting back while constantly under threat.
Cohen shares these dualities in her choice of materials. She has been working with glass and handmade paper for over twenty years, drawn to how they transform along the way to the piece’s finished form. These materials allow for an implication of the body in the work, the necessary touch and adaptation to their malleability is evident in their construction. Their elements hang in the balance, each one necessary, vulnerable, and interdependent.
The pieces on view in Liaisons show the evolution of a body of work. Earlier pieces are constructed with a variety of found glasses that have been melted and reformed in a kiln over molds of clay, while newer works use glass made by Cohen. They are connected by ideas of form, experimentation with materials, and a balance of intuition and intention. Heavily inspired by water, Cohen’s sculptures have an undulating, ethereal quality to them. They bring to mind images of eddies, seafoam, crashing waves, and the topography of waterways. They are inspired by the tension between industrial development and nature that’s abundant on the coast of New Jersey, intuitively responding to the forms, colors, and sounds that emerge as the coastline transforms over time.
Nancy Cohen has exhibited widely throughout the United States including at UrbanGlass, the Quark Park Sculpture Garden, The Sculpture Center, and the Staten Island Botanical Garden. She has been and Artist in Residence at Bullseye Glass, WheatonArts, and Pilchuck Glass School and done residencies at Yaddo, MacDowell Colony, and Millay Colony. She is the recipient of several grants, including a Pollack Krasner Foundation Grant. Nancy Cohen has an MFA from Columbia University, and lives and works in Jersey City, New Jersey.